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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Disadvantaged Cumbria children to benefit from new pupil fund

THREE and four-year-olds from low income families in Cumbria will benefit from a new fund to help prevent them from falling behind before they have even started school.

Nearly 1,000 children in Cumbria could benefit from the new Early Years Pupil Premium, worth over £300 per pupil. This means that Cumbria will receive more than £286,000 in additional funding.

The Early Years Pupil Premium is designed to narrow the attainment gap between young children from low-income families and their peers, setting them on the path to a more successful future.

According to research, children from low-income families are estimated to already be 19 months behind more advantaged peers when they start school.

The Early Years Pupil Premium aims to help nurseries raise the quality of their provision by giving them the freedom to decide how to use the money to help three and four-year-olds develop, for example by employing specialists in activities like speech and language.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: “Every child in Cumbria deserves the chance to fulfil their potential, and this extra funding is a boost to help our youngest children get on in life and succeed.

“Boys and girls from poorer families have often already fallen 19 months behind their better off classmates by the time they hang up their coat on the first day of school. Increasing their chances of success has got to be a top priority.”

Education and childcare Minister Elizabeth Truss said: “Children from low income families are already behind their peers in language and communication by the age of five – this is not good enough.

“We expect nurseries across Cumbria, and the rest of England, will use this money to create more high quality nursery provision led by teachers.”

The Early Years Pupil Premium builds on the Pupil Premium, established in 2011, to transform the way we educate our children from low-income families.

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